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The Many Faces of Zinc

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Zinc

9 ways that zinc deficiency can show up in your body.

Seemingly disparate symptoms can have the same underlying root cause. Zinc deficiency, for example, can show up in many ways, because zinc is a mineral that is required for more than 300 different cellular processes. So when zinc levels are low, the effect can be seen throughout the body, as detailed in this list from P. Michael Stone, MD, MS, a family physician who -practices functional medicine in Ashland, Ore.

Head: Thinning hair; spot baldness (alopecia areata); dandruff; scaly scalp patches; red skin (seborrhea)

Face: Acne

Eyes: Night blindness; light sensitivity (photophobia)

Nose: Reduced sense of smell (hyposmia)

Mouth: Decline in sense of taste (hypogeusia); cracks in the corners of the mouth (cheilosis); inflammation of the corners of the mouth (angular stomatitis)

Hands: Cracks or splits in the skin on the fingertips

Fingernails: Thin nails; weak nails; easily bent nails; cracks and chips; white spots (leukonychia)

Overall body: General muscular atrophy (somatic wasting)

Nervous system: Memory loss; apathy; depression

This article originally appeared in “What Your Body Is Trying To Tell You, Part 2” in the April 2016 issue. To read the full article, subscribe here, or visit “What Your Body Is Trying To Tell You, Part 2“.

Anjula Razdan is a Minneapolis-based health writer.

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